The explosive device had a power equivalent to about 200 grams, or seven ounces, of TNT, the Russian authorities said, and it was laced with bolts to act as shrapnel. A man the authorities described as having a non-Slavic appearance had placed a backpack containing the bomb in a locker at the supermarket, then fled.

Photo

President Vladimir V. Putin, center-left, attended an awards ceremony in Moscow on Thursday for Russian soldiers returning from Syria.

Credit
Pool photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev

Speaking at an awards ceremony for Russian soldiers returning from Syria, Mr. Putin called the military intervention there a success but warned of the risks of Islamic militants from the former Soviet Union returning to Russia after fighting.

“Yesterday I ordered the director of the Federal Security Service, while arresting these bandits, to act, obviously, only within the limits of the law,” Mr. Putin said, referring to returning Islamic fighters. “But if the lives or health of our employees and our officers are threatened — to act decisively, to take no prisoners, to liquidate the bandits on the spot.”

The comment echoed Mr. Putin’s taunt to Chechen terrorists, that he would “rub them out in the outhouse,” which catapulted him to new heights of popularity before his first run for president, in 2000.

There is little doubt of the leader’s chances of victory in March, as he has approval ratings of about 80 percent. The only credible opposition candidate, Aleksei A. Navalny, has been barred from running.

This week, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters that the authorities intended to investigate Mr. Navalny for illegally calling for street protests and a boycott of the vote.

In another sign of a crackdown on the opposition — despite Mr. Putin’s popularity — a video Mr. Navalny had posted on YouTube was blocked for people in Russia on Thursday.

Separately, the police detained Ilya Yashin, another activist who had called on supporters to protest the election.

Continue reading the main story



Source link